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Houston GPS featured in Symposium at ASHE Conference

November 2017 | Houston Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) leaders will present a symposium titled Regional Evidence-Based Consortia as a Strategy to Increase College Completion: Implications for Higher Education Policy at the 2017 Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference in Houston on November 9, 2017. As part of the Council on Public Policy in Higher Education Pre-Conference program, this symposium will focus on policy issues related to implementing regional consortia to increase college completion and will feature a panel that includes: Paula Myrick Short, University of Houston System Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and University of Houston Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; Teri Longacre, University of Houston Vice Provost and Dean for Undergraduate Student Success; Jason Smith, University of Houston Vice Chancellor for Governmental and Community Relations; Cathy Horn, University of Houston Faculty Senate President and Executive Director for the Center for Research and Advancement of Teacher Education; and Kurt Ewen, Houston Community College Vice Chancellor for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. Tom Sugar, Complete College America President, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

With the issue of college completion a focus of state and national higher education conversations, the implementation of collaborative strategies is essential to ensuring that our diverse population is well-prepared for today’s high-tech knowledge-based economy. The development of regional consortia is one such collaborative strategy. Aimed at creating seamless transfer pathways and increasing timely degree completion, Houston GPS utilized an evidence-based approach to identify appropriate strategies, develop implementation plans, and put plans in place within a region. This symposium will present Houston GPS as a model for regions nationwide with implications for a broad audience of higher education stakeholders focused on improving student outcomes.

The commitment of Texas to increasing degree attainment and closing achievement gaps as demonstrated by the 60x30TX strategic plan along with the region’s growing diverse population make Houston GPS a test case regarding the effectiveness of regional collaborations as an approach to attain completion goals through the implementation of evidence-based strategies. The symposium aims to provide an understanding of a process for establishing regional collaborations focused on completion, the implementation of student success strategies at scale within a regional collaboration, the development of accountability mechanisms, leading change necessary to undertake a regional endeavor, and related higher education policy implications.